Vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, and there are certain public health exemptions from the prohibitions on advertising and the provision of vaping products to support smoking cessation.
The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (the Act) aims to improve public health by preventing the normalisation of vaping while supporting smokers to switch to regulated products that are significantly less harmful than smoking.
The Act strikes a balance between ensuring vaping products are available for smokers who want to quit smoking and ensuring these products aren’t marketed or sold to young people.
Public health exemptions from prohibitions on advertising
To support people to quit smoking, the following activities are exempt from the prohibitions on advertising within the Act:
- any advice or message given by a suitably qualified health worker to an individual or to groups for the purpose of supporting them to switch from smoking to vaping
- public health messages issued by the Director-General of Health that are published by a public service or an individual or organisation funded by a public service (the Vaping Facts website has been issued as public health messages under the Act)
- the publication and dissemination of research about vaping products, smokeless tobacco products, and their use
- the publication and dissemination of research about encouraging smokers to switch to a product that is less harmful than smoking
- the publication of media articles, commentary, and opinion that encourage people to switch to a regulated product that is significantly less harmful than smoking, provided this is not sponsored by the manufacturer, importer, retailer or distributer of that product.
Providing vaping products to support smoking cessation
To support people to quit smoking, the following activities are exempt from the prohibitions within the Act:
- the supply of free or discounted vaping products as part of a publicly-funded smoking cessation programme, whether directly or via an industry participant such as a specialist vape retailer or pharmacy
- the supply of flavoured vaping products as part of a publicly funded smoking cessation programme.
Suitably qualified health workers
For the purposes of the Act, a suitably qualified health worker is either:
- a registered health practitioner
- a person who has completed the Stop Smoking Practitioners Programme (the Programme)
- a person who is undertaking the Programme and is being supervised by someone who has completed the Programme, or
- a peer support worker who is being supervised by someone who has completed the Programme.
The Director-General of Health may also declare a person to be a suitably qualified health worker by notice in the Gazette.
Information and resources
Information and resources for health professionals can be found at: